Aiden McGeady, the 24 year old Celtic star, has revealed how the constant verbal abuse he received in Glasgow led to his decision to leave Celtic for Spartak Moscow.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder completed his £9.5million move last week and flies to Russia today to start his new life. Departing, McGeady said he was keen to get away from the verbal abuse he regularly encountered in his native city.
'Moscow is a huge city and it will be possible to have a degree of privacy,' he told the press. 'Glasgow really is a goldfish bowl and it's one of the things I'm glad to be getting away from.
'Neil Lennon the Celtic manager said to me I might miss the adulation Celtic players get but I'm not so sure. My view is I need a break from it. I've had my experiences of Glasgow and I do need a change. There is always someone wanting to have a go at you. I got into a few fights in the past and wish I hadn't. I let my guard down a few times and it cost me.
'But some of the verbal abuse I had to take was really out of order. Because I'm a footballer, people think they are entitled to say what they like and get away with it. I'm talking about grown men here. They would shout, 'I hate you' or 'I'm gonna kill you, wee man.' Or worse.
'There was also a lot worse but I'm not going to go into that,' he added. McGeady claimed his decision to play for the Republic of Ireland rather than Scotland also made him a target for abuse from away supporters.
He told the press: 'There are a lot of horrible places in Scotland for that type of thing: Tynecastle, Ibrox obviously is always going to be bad with the Celtic-Rangers rivalry, Motherwell, Falkirk. Some fans there hate everything Celtic stand for and everything I stand for as an Irish Catholic playing for Celtic.'
But McGeady was shocked by the intensity of the abuse, and by the fact that men of all ages indulged in it so freely.
'It begins in the warm-ups before games with all sorts of stuff being shouted at you, even from little kids.'
Now perhaps the fans will be shocked to discover their own bad behavior had consequences they didn't intend.
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